The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 75% of waste in the US is recyclable. But only 30% of that waste makes it to recycling centers.
It’s clear that some people don’t know about all the different types of recycling so they are throwing away recyclable goods.
Or, they might be making some common recycling mistakes. These are unintentional acts that stop recycling centers from processing otherwise recyclable stuff.
Thankfully these common recycling mistakes are easy to avoid with a little education.
As you might know, I’m a bestselling author and happiness researcher. I wrote a book called Happy Habits.
In my research, I learned that doing people become happier when they do acts of altruism and help our planet earth to thrive.
With this in mind, coming up I will be sharing specific recycling mistakes you need to stop making a habit – so you can help our planet and feel happier to boot in the process.
Below are the top common recycling mistakes you should avoid. Great news: They’re pretty easy to stop doing!
Many containers that you buy food in from the store are recyclable. Your jelly jars are glass, your soda cans are metal, and your cereal boxes are cardboard.
The majority of local authorities recycle these materials nowadays.
But a lot of recycling centers do not have the proper cleaning and sanitizing capabilities. So, materials with food on them are thrown away as non-recyclable products.
With online shopping only increasing in popularity, everyone gets a few cardboard boxes they need to recycle from time to time. But one of the most common recycling mistakes is leaving the sticky tape on the cardboard.
Most sticky tape has polypropylene in it, which is non-recyclable. Always remove it before popping your cardboard into your recycling bin.
And if you send cardboard boxes to someone else, seal them with bamboo tape instead.
Let’s say you move from one apartment building to another. Or your recycling company hands out flyers with new rules on how to recycle plastics and other household waste.
Be honest. Do you read the updates?
Different local authorities have different guidelines for recycling glass, paper, and more. They also use different color bins, too. Educate yourself on what those are so you separate your recyclables the right way and don’t make mistakes.
Do you throw your old clothes and batteries in the trash because your local council doesn’t offer at-home recycling services?
There are tons of communal facilities that take furniture, electronic recycling, and other recyclable goods.
It takes a little extra effort, but if it means something doesn’t end up in a landfill then it’s worth it.
Check to see if you have recycling at work because many companies have schemes. Stores like Target often have containers where you can recycle clothes.
This is one of the biggest common recycling mistakes. Stop using non-recyclable materials when there are alternatives!
Recyclable gift wrap, plastic trays, coffee cups, glitter, straws, and so much more are all available. Reduce, reuse, and recycle as much as you can.
You don’t want all your hard work to go to waste (no pun intended) by making common recycling mistakes. And now you know what they are, you can be sure that every single thing you recycle will have a second chance of life.
Do you care about the well-being of yourself and the health of our planet? Browse our articles for lots more earth-conscious tips and advice!
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